This week’s Six on Saturday comes not from my garden but from a visit to Glasgow Botanic Gardens which is a treat at any time of year!
Inside the glass Kibble Palace there are plants from all around the world and a stroll through the glass dome is a wonderful reminder of the hugely diverse variety of plant species abundant across the globe.
The Rice Paper Plant, Tetrapanaz papyfiferus, is native to Taiwan and the South China region. The pith of the stem was used to make paper by turning the pith against a blade. The thin sheet of pith was pressed and dried for use by painters and calligraphers. The leaves can grow up to a metre across and it is a plant which makes a dramatic statement.
The dreaded Horsetail which we all fear in the garden was on glorious display at Glasgow Botanic Garden, towering at a good three metres high. Every day is a school day and I learned that it is the presence of silica in the cells of the plant which make it difficult for animals to eat it. The silica wears down the mouthparts of animals and most animals never eat it as it feels like mouthful of grit. I also learned that Horsetail has though been useful over the years to humans, as Horsetail was collected, dried and used to scour pots and floors, earning it the name Scouring Rushes.
The cacti on display in the Cactus House were really quite spectacular and this Echinopsis Candicans from Argentina was weirdly fascinating.
Mammillari Bombycina hails from Mexico and again draws one in as it is unlike anything native to UK shores.
I didn’t expect to see anything like a Begonia in amongst the cacti but here was this Begonia Venosa, a native to Brazil, looking nothing like a regular bedding Begonia. It always amazes me how diverse species within the same genus can be!
The final six was the huge Gunnera which was outside in the gardens. As always with Gunnera, the sight is dramatic and stunning. Gunnera manicata, also known as the Brazilian giant rhubarb, or dinosaur food, is a species of flowering plant in the Gunneraceae family from Brazil and yet, here it is in all its gorgeous glory in Glasgow!
I’m hoping to return to Glasgow Botanic Gardens in a few weeks time – there just wasn’t enough time to see everything on one visit!
Do feel free to me leave a comment on these six as I love to chat about plants! Enjoy reading other #SixonSaturday blogs for information and inspiration as gardeners around the world share six things from their garden on a Saturday. #SixonSaturday is hosted by The Propagator, and you’ll find lots of links on Twitter on the #SixonSaturday hashtag. You can find The Pink Wheelbarrow on Twitter at @PinkWheelbarrow.